Match Details
Season :
2019/2020
Date :
7th March 2020
Competition :
Irish Premier League
Venue :
Taylor’s Avenue
Referee :
Tony Clarke
Linfield Scorers :
Kirk Millar 18', 52'
Linfield Yellow Card :
Cooper
Carrick Rangers Yellow Cards :
Magill, Loughran, Hassin
Teams
Linfield Team :
Alex Moore (GK), Chris Casement, Mark Haughey, Jimmy Callacher, Niall Quinn (Matthew Clarke 10’), Jamie Mulgrew (C), Bastien Hery, Kirk Millar, Jordan Stewart (Shayne Lavery 55’), Joel Cooper, Andy Waterworth
Linfield Subs not used :
Gareth Deane (GK), Ethan Boyle, Mark Stafford, Daniel Kearns, Rory Currie
Carrick Rangers Team :
Harry Doherty (GK), Mark Carson (Michael Smith 65’), Mark Surgenor ©, Caolan Loughran, Daniel Magill, Reece Neale, Gerard Kelly (Liam Hassin 69’), Kyle Cherry, Lloyd Anderson, Darren Murray, Alexander Gawne (Josh McGreevy 78’)
Carrick Rangers Subs not used :
Ben Nicholl (GK), James Ferrin, Willia,m Faulkner, Jamie Dunne
Report
Linfield recorded their fifth win on the bounce as a professional display helped them to a deserved win over Carrick Rangers at the Belfast Loughshore Hotel Arena this afternoon as Kirk Millar provided both goals.

The game got underway in the wind at the Loughshore Hotel Arena, but not after the customary pre-match handshakes which were aborted amidst the Coronavirus outbreak. After losing Rohan Ferguson and Stephen Fallon through injury this week, it wasn’t ideal for Linfield when Niall Quinn went off injured after ten minutes after pulling up.

Carrick Rangers were first to threaten when the ball fell kindly for Lloyd Anderson who edged towards the edge of the box into a good position for a shot which flew just past the upright.

The Blues took the lead after 18 minutes. Chris Casement was instrumental with a driving run though a gap which opened up and the full back’s dangerous low cross was sliced by defender Caolan Loughran against his own post. Danny Magill then tried to scramble it clear but the ball hit Kirk Millar at close range to fly into the net.

The Amber Army looked to hit back and almost did when Reece Neale won possession down the left before slipping the ball centrally to striker Alex Gawne. The on-loan Coleraine man had time and space for a shot but his low strike was well held by Alex Moore.

It could have been two before the break when Waterworth slipped the ball neatly into the path of Cooper who ventured in on goal and when he pulled the trigger, Danny Magill put in a crucial block to deny what would have been a goal.

Impressive Carrick midfielder Lloyd Anderson threatened on two further occasions in the closing stages on the first half. Alex Moore showed commanding goalkeeping to fist away a corner and the ball was hooked back in for Anderson who was denied by Moore who reacted quickly. The midfielder later got to the byline before sliding such an inviting cross by the face of goal but no Carrick player was following up to take advantage.

Half Time: Carrick Rangers 0 –1 Linfield

Joel Cooper almost got a second for Linfield when he unleashed a fierce drive from just outside the box which whistled just over the crossbar, but the second goal would arrive on 52 minutes and it was a wonderful goal! Kirk Millar stood over a free-kick after Cooper had been fouled by Magill and the winger hammered home a superb free-kick from 25 yards which bent right into the top corner. His first goal was a tad fortunate, but this was pure class.

Millar almost sealed his hat-trick a short time later after cutting in from the left and arrowing another wicked strike a few inches over the crossbar.

Unsurprisingly, it was the outstanding Millar who would go close yet again when he met a Shayne Lavery cross from the left, but the cross seemed to be slightly behind the winger who headed just wide in search of the match ball.

Substitute Lavery almost added a third late on when his low shot was deflected against the post and from the resulting corner, Bastien Hery had a low shot well saved by Harry Doherty in the Carrick goal.

Full Time: Carrick Rangers 0 – 2 Linfield

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